Soon after the first build of Android 11 was released by Google as an addition to its Pixel range, the company decided to upload the source code to AOSP. That source code has revealed some fascinating new features for the upcoming piece of hardware.
New volume stream
This update is geared largely towards virtual assistants. The new stream type is known as AUDIO_STREAM_ASSISTANT. The updated stream’s volume is controlled independently. This means that changing volumes on your virtual assistant stream will not affect the volume of other streams.
The Android was set to bring us customizable lock-screen clock options. It was to come in four different styles. Default, text, bubble, and analog. Sadly, these plug-ins never found their way to the final cut.
Moreover, the plug-in remains unavailable for Android 11 as well. However, the custom clock feature has been brought back by Google. Nonetheless, the analog and bubble clocks have been removed for the Android 11. So, not a lot of room for customization either way.
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Freeze Cached Apps
In the second Beta version of the Android 11, a developmental feature was noticed. It was titled “suspend execution for cached apps.” Back then there wasn’t enough information on the matter to understand what it meant.
After the source-code reveal, we’ve come to the understanding that it enables the system to freeze cached apps. When an app is frozen it doesn’t put any pressure on the CPU cycle. Furthermore, it cuts down on power consumption. Thus, improving battery life.
The apps can be unfrozen by removing them from the cache. Additionally, they can also be unfrozen by removing the app entirely.
Blur for the notification
The feature allows users to enjoy a Kawase blur effect behind the notification panel whenever it’s pulled down. This is in line with the previous Gaussian blur effect and in fact, builds on it.
Deep Press support in Android 11
Google has worked on and improved the long press options on its new hardware. A strong firm press on the screen in the Pixel Launcher, Google Photos, and Google drive enables the feature. When the screen is pressed down for a small duration on the mentioned apps it showcases the context menu.
Even the notifications can be deep pressed. If one does a deep press on a notification, it’ll expand the notification into the notification panel.
This update makes use of the Deep Press API. It uses an ML model to understand when a person is exerting pressure with greater force on the screen.
The option to “Enable Gabeldorsche” is a toggle on the Android 11’s developer options. The Gabeldorsche enables the Bluetooth feature stack. Google has rewritten Android’s Bluetooth stack for this new feature. Expectations are for it to lower latency. Furthermore, better stability is expected as well.
However, it is highly likely that the Gabeldorsche is not enabled for the official Android 11. Rumors point that the official release of the Gabeldorsche will come with the Android 12.
Another infamous Developer Option that came up a while back was “enhanced connectivity”. There was no description what-so-ever about what it does. The source code, however, reveals that the feature will enable power-saving when the device falls into the red-zone.
It’ll do so by cutting off 5G through the connectivity thermal manager. In turn, this would add a valuable number of extra minutes to battery life.
There are many other features that are rumored to come along as well, all referenced through the source-code. These new updates are rather pleasant and do create hype for the upcoming Android 11. They’ll help improve the user experience, something Google seems to have a good handle over.